Floriade terrain simultaneous area development

In 2022, the Floriade, an international horticultural exhibition, was held in Almere. The Floriade 2022 not only was a prominent international event, it also provided the foundation for the new Hortus city district with 660 homes initially.

For Witteveen+Bos the project presented an excellent opportunity to develop sustainable solutions. The theme of the Floriade 2022 was Growing Green Cities. On the basis of this concept, the project contributes to solutions for issues concerning food, the green living environment, energy production and health.

Multifunctional Design

The Multifunctional Design principle stimulates the search for multiple functions and a maximum combination of functions that can best be served by the design. The crux is to surprise stakeholders by providing extra functionality and therefore greater added social value through a relatively small design modification. The multifunctional dimension is an integral aspect of this project. In the design, area development focuses on two goals. The infrastructure and the layout of the event terrain has been designed such that after the international exhibition it can be used as a basis for the new sustainable and innovative Horus residential district to be constructed. This way infrastructure and buildings serve multiple purposes, development is sustainable and costs are reduced.

Nature-based Design

The sustainable Nature-based Design principle means making use of natural processes to strengthen the design. Working with nature instead of against nature. This way unintended negative side-effects can be prevented and extra benefits are created, such as nature-related benefits. It may also make the design cheaper. The starting point for the Floriade project was a grid with the arboretum, rather than the built environment. The green and ecological network was the key focus. The living tree and plant library and the Oerbos primeval forest on the Weerwater Island are a gift to the new residents. By creating a design focused on green and water, the district has shading designed to combat heat stress in dry and warm periods.

Flexible Design

Flexible Design as a sustainable design principle means that the design can easily be adapted to changing conditions in the future. This can include climatic conditions, as well as different stakeholder needs and preferences. Creating future added value becomes easier and cheaper when a design is flexible. The urban design structure for the Floriade terrain was designed such that plots can easily be interchanged. The underground infrastructure is suitable for supporting the above ground design of the plan in the broadest sense. In addition, the relationship between green and pavement within the grids is easily scalable and interchangeable.

Circular Design

The Circular Design principle is about making choices for current and future lifecycles, and closing chains by using resources, materials, residual products and waste streams in the design as circular raw materials. Circular design limits the depletion of (fossil) raw materials and limits the total carbon emissions over a design’s entire lifespan. The Floriade grounds and the planned green district feature a Smart Thermal Grid (STG). This is an innovative collective energy grid using heat pumps coupled to local thermal energy storage (UTES) systems and local energy sources, such as heat extraction from surface water.

The system as much as possible balances the supply and demand for energy (heat and cold). This provides for the optimal use of available energy. Because this is a gasless network, it also significantly reduces carbon emissions. When heating is generated using natural gas, one kWh of heat produces approximately 200 grams of carbon emissions. The Smart Thermal Grid can be scaled up to match the growth of the district.

Circularity is also substantively reflected on the Floriade terrain in the construction of bicycle and pedestrian bridges and the campsheeting, which are made of recycled plastic, some of which was collected in the Municipality of Almere. The sustainable tile pavement was made possible by demanding the lowest possible ECI value for its construction. Wide pavement using concrete tiles has only been used where necessary. Where possible pavement was replaced by greenery.

The direct current network as the power supply for the public lighting is another sustainable feature. This means that considerably less copper was required for the underground network. Furthermore, the masts of the public lighting are made from 100% reused aluminium.

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